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My PS4 (it's a PS4 slim, to be more precise) is not turning on properly anymore and it has the "blue light of death" (BLOD). Whenever I try to start it up the screen stays black and I can't really interact with the device at all.

The warranty expired already long ago and Sony kindly offered to replace the device relatively cheaply, which would be cool except I'd loose all my game data (they would not fix my broken device but rather send me a different one) because, unfortunately, I was stupid and I have no backups. So before I send my PS4 slim to Sony, I would prefer to either (a) try to fix it myself or (b) somehow perform a game data backup.

I have done some research on what could cause the BLOD and found on youtube a tutorial about how to fix it if there is a problem with the heatsink clamp. An electronics-savvy friend of mine tried that with my PS4 but it did not work (guess the heatsink clamp was not the problem then).

Now my last idea is to try to access the PS4-internal hard drive from my Macbook in order to extract the game data. I have also done some online research about this but without success. Notice that RemotePlay does not work because I cannot even connect to my PS4 (for a manual connection I would have to enter a code that's shown on screen connected to the PS4, but as mentioned above, that screen stays black).

Does anyone have an idea how to:
(1) connect my Macbook with the PS4 slim via a cable
(2) access the game data on the PS4 hard drive
(3) store that data on my Macbook (or an external hard drive) in a way that I can push it back on a new PS4?

I am by no means a hacker (as in hacking into computer systems) but I'm a python programmer and no stranger to the console. So if there is a solution that requires me to go a bit deeper into the system, that should be ok. Any ideas?

Many thanks

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  • You may need to remove the HDD and a SATA-USB adapter to connect it to your Mac in order to access its content. In that way you should be able to create a backup. Hoping that the HDD is not the source of blue led of death, as happened to me.
    – pinckerman
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 19:43
  • Thank you very much for that advice. Will it be straightforward to recognize the relevant files (i.e. are they named in a human-understandable way)? Or would I have to simply backup all files? I have heard that there may be a problem if I try to use the config files of the old PS4 on a new device (in which case I should not include those file in the backup).
    – scicos88
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 20:07
  • I'm not sure, also because my HDD was damaged, but I couldn't do anything. It's worth noting that PS4 hard drive uses a different format, and creates several partitions, so it could be hard to figure out what you need from a pc. Related
    – pinckerman
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 21:00
  • I see. Thank you very much...
    – scicos88
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 6:57

1 Answer 1

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Unfortunately, the data on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 hard drives are locked to their respective console. So even if you can read the hard drive in your Mac, it's totally useless to try copying it to a different console. If Sony fixes your old console you could simply try imaging the drive and restore it, but if they send you a "new" one, you're out of luck.

FWIW, PS3 and PS4 hard drives are easy to remove from the console. Then it's just a hard drive you can connect to a PC with any sort of SATA connector.

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  • Thank you for your comment. I have also read that the HDDs are locked to the consoles, I just was not sure if that's true. Thanks for the confirmation.
    – scicos88
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 7:01
  • If you don't mind, let me ask a follow up question that is only loosely related to my problem but my help me understand better, how this console locking works: Assume I have a working PS4, I properly back up my data and then exchange the HDD. I guess then the new HDD wouldn't be locked to the console anymore, right? Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I have no idea at all how this console locking works technically. If the answer to the above question is yes, then wouldn't it make sense to always exchange the HDD right from the beginning to avoid running in these kinds of issues?
    – scicos88
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 10:36
  • @scicos88 I'm not quite sure what you're asking, but you can't put a hard drive from one console and use it in another (without wiping the data). You can backup data, put in a different hard drive and restore data to that in the same console (i.e. to give you more storage space). But the only way to move non-save data from one console to another is to use the Data Transfer Utility which you can't use because your PS4 is dead. If you have PS+ and turned auto-cloud saving on, you would have at least have your save files which is really all you need
    – pboss3010
    Commented Oct 28, 2021 at 16:09

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